Phoenix: tanker sinks to watery grave in R34 million operation

2011-09-07 00:00

ALMOST two kilometres underwater and 78 km out to sea, the MT Phoenix landed softly in its watery grave at 10 am yesterday morning.

The colossal oil tanker was towed south-east of Durban and scuttled overnight, with the seacocks opened at about 6 pm on Monday to let the Indian Ocean embrace the tanker some 2 000  metres down on the sea bed, deep enough to avoid creating a hazard for passing ships.

SA Maritime Safety Authority communications officer Mambrie May said the ship was stripped before the lengthy operation began.

The MT Phoenix ran aground on the rocks of Sheffield Beach in July 26. The salvagers received offers for the vessel, but scuppering it was the cheapest option in an operation that cost more than R34 million.

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